What is employer's liability insurance?
In the course of operating your business, your employees can be injured or suffer from illness as a result of working for you, regardless of how safe your premises appear to be or how benign your business activities may seem.
Employer's liability insurance covers your organisation against claims for damages and costs resulting from injuries and/or illness suffered by your employees during or arising from their employment with you, as well as the legal costs you incur in dealing with such claims.
Under UK law employer's liability insurance is compulsory. As soon as you become an employer, it is a legal requirement that you obtain employer's liability insurance with an authorised insurer. Your policy must cover you for at least £5,000,000. It's important to be aware that failure to obtain appropriate cover can result in a fine of £2500 for every day you are not insured.
Employer's liability insurance claims
Employer's liability claims are extremely commonplace, in no small part due to the litigious society in which we live today. If employer's liability cover did not exist, your company would have no option other than to fund the full cost of claims itself. This could include payments for damages and legal costs and the costs of obtaining your own legal representation.
Claims are wide-ranging. They can and do arise from ex-employees as well as current ones. They can be brought due to a wide range of physical and psychological injuries and/or industrial diseases sustained during the course of employment.
Such claims should never be taken lightly or disregarded. Even a minor injury can cost several thousand pounds to deal with while a more serious injury or illness, can easily lead to claims in the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Employer's liability insurance and 'claims occurring' cover
Employer's liability insurance is underwritten on what is known as a 'claims occurring' basis. This means that your policy provides cover for claims brought by an employee for injuries and/or illness which occurred during that period of insurance, even if the policy is no longer in force.
Managing claim notifications
Whilst we would like to believe that every well-run organisation does its best to minimise the chances of employment-related accidents or illness occurring in the workplace, in reality we must accept that not every accident can be foreseen or prevented. Accidents do happen and claims do result from them. That's when Markel, as your insurer, can help you manage claims and potential claims when they arise.
When an employee makes a claim against you, they will usually appoint a solicitor to pursue the matter on their behalf. You will then receive a letter of claim from solicitors formally notifying your employee's intention to make a claim. You should not acknowledge this letter. You should simply pass it to your insurers without delay.
If the accident which forms the subject of the claim occurred on or after 1st July 2013 you may receive a letter from solicitors asking for confirmation of the name of your Insurer and your policy number. They will then subsequently submit the claim directly to your insurer via the MOJ Claims Portal. This is an internet based claims management system intended to deal with injury claims up to a value of £25,000.
Your insurer receives the claim as an electronic Claims Notification Form. This provides details of the claim and your insurer must acknowledge it via the Claims Portal within 24 hours. Your insurer then has only 30 working days in which to investigate the claim with you, consider all evidence and legal liability issues and provide a liability decision to the claimant, via the Claims Portal. It is therefore important for you to notify your insurer as soon as you are aware of a claim or potential claim; this gives your insurer the opportunity to comply with portal timescales and benefit from the maximum period in which to investigate and consider the case.
If you have any concerns about a claim which has been made, our experienced claims staff are on hand to assist.
Employer's liability insurance from Markel
Holding EL cover with Markel as an authorised insurer ensures you are fulfilling your legal obligations to hold appropriate cover.
It also ensures that in the event that claims are made against your company you have appropriate insurance in place to deal with them.
We can offer EL cover from as little as £5 a month for businesses and charities of all sizes. Get an online quote now, to find out how little it costs to protect your employees and yourself.